If you’ve been out on the Internet lately, you’ve likely noticed a new trend of graphical story telling called the Infographic. And no, this isn’t some kind of made-up buzzword you’ll hear in a busy office—though we have heard it tossed about at some board meetings. No, this is a viable way of flexing some serious creative muscle, as well as a chance to tip some of your design hats into the ring. But just what in the heck is a bloody Infographic? If you’ve seen examples, or haven’t seen a single one and are maddeningly confused, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a quick guide below to get you up to speed, starting with:

What is an Infographic Made Of?

First and foremost, an Infographic can best be described as the combined elements of its name. It is simultaneously an educational tool intended to teach the viewer about something, as well as an image carefully crafted by a designer to be engaging and endearing. Perhaps one of the best ways we’ve heard yet to think about an Infographic is like this: If a graphic novel is a novel with pictures, so is an Infographic an essay with illustrations. They both achieve the same function by adding design to an otherwise prose-based piece. Furthermore, you can even use an Infographic to explain visually a graph. We’ve seen Infographics on everything from the percentage of use specific browsers get in the design market all the way up to the funniest ways to pet a cat. The sky is the limit, but why would you actually want to use an Infographic?

Blogs are the Key

Before the invention of the modern blog—you’re reading one of those right now—an Infographic wouldn’t have made much sense. Where would one put a graphic that’s intended to be an article such that it would garner any attention at all? However, with a blog it makes perfect sense. Simply throw an Infographic up as a post, and you’ve instantly created a strikingly visual article that anyone can read. Furthmore, Infographics are attention-deficit friendly, and as we all know, the Internet isn’t big on reading long posts. With pictures, a message, and an inviting appearance, an Infographic can be just about the best way to educate your blog readers about a sticky topic.